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December 6, 2018 - About Minimax

Project Partner of the German Rescue Robotics Center

Supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

As the second largest fire protection company in the world, Minimax Viking GmbH supports the German Rescue Robotics Center (Deutsches Rettungsrobotik-Zentrum) in Dortmund. As the only project partner from the fire protection sector, Minimax Viking brings decades of experience in fire protection research.

Today marked the launch of the new specialist center on the former industrial site “Phoenix West” in Dortmund. Here, mobile robot systems for civilian hazard prevention are to be researched and developed. One of the center’s main features is the so-called “living lab” with in- and outside trial areas where the systems, together with their users, can be tested for their operational suitability in various scenarios.

The international fire protection company Minimax Viking has been working in fire protection research for decades. The Minimax fire protection research center celebrated its fiftieth jubilee in July of this year. “As one of the few private fire protection research centers in Germany, it is the biggest of its kind in Europe and carries out cutting-edge research into safety,” explained Klaus Hofmann, Chairman of the Executive Board. Minimax was the first company in Germany that used its own research center to expand its competency in the development of fire protection solutions. “This focus on innovation is characteristic of Minimax and remains a large part of the company culture,” Hofmann continued.

The German Rescue Robotics Center is aiming to gain international recognition. For the first time in Germany, emergency forces, researchers and industry will work together to develop autonomous rescue robots and a robotics task force acting on a national and an international level. They will compile testing and inspection criteria in order to guarantee the standardization and certification of different robot systems in the future. The basis is built on the four lead scenarios: fire, collapse and burial, detection of dangerous substances and flood, as well as the ensuing challenges for rescue robotics.

The starting point for the specialist center is the increased complexity of the challenges encountered by authorities and organizations with security responsibilities as part of their everyday tasks. Despite good training, mature, tactical concepts and reliable safety equipment, every year numerous members of emergency forces around the world are injured or killed at work. As technical development progresses it is, however, conceivable that mobile robotic systems will increasingly be able to take on tasks in the future, in order to make the handling of operations more effective and safer for emergency forces, endangered people and personal protective equipment.

The requirements from operational practices will be used to develop the rescue robots. Beyond the initiation and funding phase, a scientifically oriented specialist center is to be developed in order to make more efficient robotic technology available to rescue teams on the market.

The Project
The project is being supported with an initial investment for four years by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and will be led by an interdisciplinary and well-known association of users, industry, universities and research institutes. The funding is part of the German government's “Research into Civilian Safety 2012- 2017”, as part the topic area “Civilian Safety - Innovation laboratory / specialist centers for robotic systems in hostile environments” (Funding code13N14852 to 13N14863)

More information available at: www.sifo.de or 
https://www.sifo.de/de/bewilligte-projekte-aus-der-bekanntmachung-zivile-sicherheit---innovationslabore-2322.html and
https://www.sifo.de/files/Projektstumriss_A-DRZ.pdf

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November 5, 2018 - Solutions

Fire protection as a competitive advantage

Recycling industry finds out at Recycling-Technik in Dortmund

The rapidly growing industry of recyclable material processing finds itself confronted by a high level of fire risk. People, environment and companies are regularly threatened by large fires. Many business operations are now upgrading and in doing so are attaching importance to a comprehensive fire protection concept. On 07-08/11 at Recycling-Technik in Dortmund, Minimax is showing what such a concept should look like (hall 7, stand T26). 

Delivery and storage areas - detecting hot spots

There is a risk in these areas that stored substances will auto-ignite. Here, internal areas are particularly at risk, since dust can create an explosive atmosphere. In order to detect potential ignition hazards in good time, the recyclable material storage areas are constantly monitored. Thermography systems with infra-red cameras are used for this wide-area early detection of fire. They detect objects by their radiative heat transfer and spot critical temperature developments. If there is a threat of ignition, a signal is transmitted to the connected fire detection control panel. Extinguishing monitors are aimed at the target manually or via remote control. They provide effective fighting of the so-called hot spot via water enhanced with film-forming foam compound. Active smoke aspiration systems and industrial flame detectors provide extra security in internal areas. They can also cope with particularly tough environmental conditions and dependably detect potential fires. Their signals are sent to a fire detection control panel which evaluates them and in an emergency activates automatic extinguishing by a deluge system.

Mechanical conveyor systems - safety in motion

During the sorting process, recycling materials are continually transported via conveyor belt systems. This means multi-faceted risks: overheated roller bearings, sparks which may occur during maintenance- or welding work, or auto-ignition of the material to be conveyed. The combined installation of industrial flame detectors and multi-sensor combustion gas detectors is a proven fire-safety measure for dependable and early detection of a fire. Minifog ProCon water mist systems are a particularly efficient solution for direct fire fighting. After a fire has been detected, the section of the conveyor belt is extinguished and operation can be continued without major downtime. The crucial advantage of this extinguishing system compared with conventional water spray systems is the significantly lower use of extinguishing water.

Pneumatic suction and conveyor systems - no opportunity for sparks

Wherever flammable materials are pneumatically transported, there is an increased risk of fire. This applies particularly to the material mix in pneumatic suction and conveyor systems in the recycling process. Sparks, hot particles or glowing embers in the processing machinery which arrive in the delivery systems have risk potential. Dust explosions are also possible. Functionally monitored spark detectors which react to infrared radiation of potential sources of ignition flying past, ensure dependable and above all immediate detection. If the spark detectors identify potential sources of ignition in the materials being conveyed, a signal is sent to the control panel. This unit then activates the automatic extinguisher solenoid valve in milliseconds. The extinguishing water is released and introduced into the volumetric flow via self-closing nozzles. The glowing particles fly into the water mist formed by the nozzle. Particularly innovative spark detectors, such as the UniVario YMX5000 detector range, themselves monitor their optical system with regard to dirt or damage at regular intervals. Functions such as these increase operational safety in the challenging areas of application in a recycling facility.

For an integrated fire protection concept however, all areas of a recycling complex must be thought of. For this reason separation and crushing facilities, agglomeration presses or even ancillary areas such as server or control rooms and office buildings must also be taken into consideration.

We look forward to welcoming you to our stand, T26 in hall 7 at Recycling-Technik in Dortmund.

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October 17, 2017 - Solutions

International LNG congress in Barcelona

Marcel Ruesink from Minimax answered the question how to mitigate fire events for LNG facilities at the LNG congress in Barcelona on 16-17 October 2017.

LNG facilities are exposed to fire risks. When a fire occurs due to failing equipment or inadequate  fire control and protection measures, extended business disruptions may be the consequence. These will cause substantial costs and, at worst, may cause customers to turn to new suppliers elsewhere, if the delivery delays continue. The consequences originates due to the nature of LNG processing, the potential disperse of vaporized natural gas with its high fire load and rapid fire spread. The risk can be reduced by detection, fire control and/or extinguishing systems.

LNG fire has challenging facets. Minimax has the right fire control and protection solution for the various LNG facilities. Recommended fire control and protection applications which suit the requirements of LNG facilities are for example vaporization reduction with Hi-Ex foam, gas cloud dispersion control by water curtains, fire suppression with dry chemical and suppression system with inert gas systems for fire risks in enclosures like compressors and plant utilities.

Minimax understands the safety management issues at LNG operations and has in-depth know-how of codes and standards for fire protection, like IMO IGC (81/224), NFPA, EN & BS (66/224). Additionally Minimax has the ability to adopt local requirements, great track record on successful project completion and a company culture to meet expectations of global acting companies.

Minimax provides tailored solutions wherever there is a fire threat and has a widespread fire protection experience on industrial applications, including LNG facilities, jetties, loading manifolds, compressors, machinery rooms, steam and gas turbine driven power plants. So Minimax has the competence on both landbase and marine projects and the experience to integrate them.

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September 29, 2017 - Technologies

Elbphilharmonie: Dependable fire protection is bon ton

A landmark building and an important new place for music lovers has been created in the central port of Hamburg.

The Elbphilharmonie is set to attract local concertgoers and members from the music industry as well as visitors from around the world. Thus, dependable fire protection for this new landmark is paramount. HOCHTIEF commissioned Minimax with the installation of sprinkler systems, hydrants and monitoring systems. We accepted the complex and demanding large-scale project and Alfred Neumann and his team from the Minimax Reinfeld office successfully implemented it. 4 sprinkler pumps, 2 storage vessels, 6 hydrant pumps, 3 surveillance control centers, 23 alarm valve stations, 120 Zonecheck detectors, 195 hydrant cabinets, 13,000 sprinklers, 16,200 meters of main and distribution pipes and 41,000 meters of string pipes ensure safety in the Elbphilharmonie.

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May 22, 2017 - Technologies

A world first: the UniVario YMX5000

Self-monitoring of detector optics in spark detection

The UniVario YMX5000 series offers new possibilities in spark detection in the wood-processing industry: for the first time there is a cyclic optics monitoring of all sensor units, as well for spark detectors. A new feature is that this detector series is suitable for extreme temperature ranges, and thanks to its modularity offers maximum flexibility in use.

The detection system of the UniVario YMX5000 series consists of a control unit with three connectors for remote sensor units. The electronics of the evaluation unit is self-monitoring, displays for example alarms or faults, and thus offers extra functional safety. The sensor units are connected to a control unit and allow dependable detection wherever there is an increased fire risk from sparks. The spark detection system is audited and approved by VdS.

New standards for additional safety: Self-monitoring in spark detection

Self-monitoring of optics has since become standard in flame detection. The UniVario YMX5000 system has succeeded for the first time in the world in transferring this standard to spark detection. At cyclic intervals the optics are monitored with regard to contamination or damage - a functionality that again significantly increases the operation safety of the system in the sometimes harsh areas of deployment in a wood-processing plant.

Extreme temperatures: From ice-cold to hot

The UniVario YMX5000 system is suitable for applications in extreme temperature ranges. The corresponding FUX sensor unit can even be used without fiber optic adapter at temperatures from -40°C to 105°C. The sensor units will be also available in an “Ex” version for use in explosion-hazard zones in Ex zones 1, 2, 20, 21 and 22.

Minimal downtimes: Easy, secure and long-lived system

Installing the sensor units is simple and safe thanks to the single-hole mounting with bayonet locking. The flush wall connection within transport- or suction channels minimizes the wear of the optics and guarantees a long lifetime. Possible air flushing does not affect the 120 degree viewing angle of the sensor system. Maintenance, for example for defective optics, is particularly easy thanks to a quick-change replaceable optics, so downtimes can be reduced to a minimum.

Minimax will be displaying the new UniVario YMX5000 detection system as a world first on the occasion of LIGNA 2017. In addition to this visitors to the Minimax trade stand at LIGNA can find out more about Minifog PressProtect, a solution for the protection of industrial presses, DryerProtect, the combined fire detection-, water mist- and spark extinguishing technology for driers, thermography systems and the Inveron hazard management system.

LIGNA 2017, Stand C24 in Hall 26

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March 10, 2017 - About Minimax

"Dürr Supplier Award" for Minimax

Dürr AG awarded Minimax as "Global Partner" among others for product quality.

The global plant and machinery installer Dürr AG honored its best suppliers with the Supplier Award for innovations, product quality and ability to always meet budgets and deadlines. Minimax fulfilled the international requirements in an outstanding way. "When it comes to their projects, we follow our longstanding customer Dürr around the world. We design, supply and install fire protection systems for the various Dürr construction sites according to country-specific regulations and on a global scale", says Minimax's Thilo Lindau.

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September 28, 2016 - Technologies

Innovative company with awarded nozzle

The extremely flexible and economic VN nozzle has been awarded the Security Innovation Award.

In the VN nozzle the screens are not a fixed component of the product. Depending on the extinguishing agent throughput required, an appropriate screen is only inserted during installation. For subsequent changes in the performance requirement only the screen needs to be changed, not the entire nozzle. This makes the VN nozzle an extremely flexible and economic solution.

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